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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

trie torch, I glimpsed an assortment of vague shapes,
boxes, tins, fragments of broken furniture and frowsy
mattresses. It seemed a long way to Headquarters,
and the Tunnel was memorable but not fortifying to a
fatigued explorer who hadn't slept for more than an
hour at a stretch or taken his clothes off since last
Tuesday. Once, when I tripped and recovered my-
self by grabbing the wall, my tentative patch of
brightness revealed somebody half hidden under a
blanket. Not a very clever spot to be taking a nap, I
thought, as I stooped to shake him by the shoulder.
He refused to wake up, so I gave him a kick. "God,
blast you, where's Battalion Headquarters?33 My
nerves were on edge; and what right had he to be
having a good sleep, when I never seemed to get five
minutes' rest? . . . Then my beam settled on the livid
face of a dead German whose fingers still clutched the
blackened gash on his neck. . . . Stumbling on, I
could only mutter to myself that this was really a
bit too thick. (That, however, was an exaggeration;
there is nothing remarkable about a dead body in a
European War, or a squashed beetle in a cellar.) At
Headquarters I found the Adjutant alone, worried
and preoccupied with clerical work. He had worked
in an office, at accountancy, I believe, before the War;
and now most of his fighting was done in writing,
though he had served his apprenticeship as a brave
and indefatigable platoon commander. He told me
that the underground attack had been washed out by
a providential counter-order from Division, and asked
me to send my organization scheme along as soon as
possible. "Right-O!" I replied, and groped my way
back again feeling the reverse of my reply. By a stroke
of luck I discovered Ralph Wilmot, sitting by him-
self in a small recessed room—his dark hair smoothly

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